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The Geology Department was my favorite because... it offered me the opportunity to better understand what I was looking at, when I visited the Garden of the Gods, Canyonlands, other field trip destinations. The Department was primarily frequented by people who shared a love of the outdoors, a hard work ethic, a willingness to experience field trips that offered all of the above plus plenty of room for fun as well.
I remember seeing (a) Prof Lewis waking up, rolled in a blanket, without a tent, under at least 6 of snow at the Sand Dunes, (b) Paraprof Hannigan taking us to Deadhorse Point, (c) Prof Leoffler bringing some contact metamorphic outcrop to our class’s attention during a fieldtrip to New Mexico, and (d) Prof Fischer at the Ghost Ranch where we followed trace fossils across a bedding plane.
Thank you CC Geology for the opportunity and the experience.
Sam Allen , Geology Major,'79
"Optional" Loeffler skarn field trip the day after St. Patrick's, complete with the leftover um, beverage, from a student party the night before and some appreciative German visitors.
As far as my favorite memory...as I mentioned there are SO many....Here is a short list of the few that seem to resurface....as life goes on...
1. Often asked "How did you ever pick Geology as a major? Answer, was doing a biology lab for my premed major and saw a bunch of tan, good looking boys outside throwing "acid" on the sides of the buildings...thought that look like more fun than dissecting a fetal pig...joined a class...the rest is history!
2. Asked by my 5 year old daughter when she discovered a dead bird in our backyard..."have you ever seen a dead bird?....memory jog to a game of rock hammer golf on a field trip, when we decided to have a bird on a distant wire be "the hole"...never intending to actually hit it...a fellow geology major got a "hole in one"! We were devastated and forever guilty!
Favorite geology memories are too many to enumerate. Among the best times were the two extended field trips during spring break to the Big Bend country of southwest Texas (1968) and to Death Valley/Grand Canyon (1969) with Bill Fischer as fearless leader. As I recollect, there were 4-5 cars or thereabouts packed with students and dunnage on each trip. Among the casualties was a mule deer felled at 2 AM by the college station wagon about 30 miles north of Marathon, TX, and the college vehicle's deer-crunched radiator. My Willys Jeep station wagon towed the CC vehicle with its punctured radiator some 25-30 miles to Marathon, while the other vehicles in the group herded jackrabbits along either side of the road. I don't recall meeting any other traffic--kind of lonely out there. We squatted and dozed the night away in the local Chevron dealer's filling station. The owner awakened one of our party with a tire iron, and not so genially referred us to a radiator shop down the road. The Hispanic proprietor of the radiator shop patched up the radiator and got us back on the road in record time, and we carried on to Big Bend to enjoy the geological wonders of the Chisos Mts, Santa Elena (sp?) canyon and the Terlingua fault scarp, mercury mines and other delights. The next year, Fischer proved himself a dedicated candidate for professorial sainthood (or branded himself a slow learner) as he led another trip to Death Valley. We didn't know about El Nino winters then, but 1968-69 winter was a real lulu, and the abnormally high precipitation reached Death Valley and really flushed out the place, washing out many roads and so forth, which were still largely washed out when we got there. I recall being completely impressed with the effects of the running water on the landscape and that experience probably gets the credit for my lingering professional interest in surficial processes and process-related geomorphology.
John C. Tinsley, Ph.D.
How to choose in 30 words? Mayonnaise slinging on the Gun Barrel Highway; ground squirrel “weapons of mass destruction” in Eleven Mile Canyon; two feet of snow but “we'll sleep under the picnic table” in Durango; Murphy’s Bar; damn plane-table-alidade insanity; having Prez. Lew Worner telling me that I need to teach Dick Pearl’s classes after his stroke; and on and on beyond imagination.
All the best,
My best memories are from individual attention that each professor gave to all of us, and their want for us to succeed academically. The block plan is a wonderful learning environment especially for Geology students. I now have a much greater appreciation for geomorphology than I did at the time I took the class from Dr Bill Fischer. Although I chose to be an Air Force Fighter Pilot as a profession I've always had a great appreciation of my background in Geology as I've flown over glaciers, mountain ranges and the deserts of the world. I can say this, "Studying basic geomorphology at 500 mph at 500 feet above ground in a jet fighter really rocks!!!
Jim Bowman '81
My favorites stories have to do with our field trips. Dr. Fischer getting drunk and yelling "Silencio" at the Mexican border guards at Big Bend; Steve's wife Elena going with us at 81/2 months pregnant; Ginnie and Ruth buying only bread and huge jars of peanut butter and jelly for our trip; getting trampled by wild burros in Death Valley; Reg hitting a deer with the college station wagon and us sleeping at a gas station in Alpine, TX waiting for repairs; Stan, Richard and myself getting stranded in Las Vegas looking for a junk yard because thetie-rod had broken on Richard's car.
My other favorite was when Charlie woke up Kweku one day by pouring water on him to get him to come to class and Dr. Fischer cancelled class in honor of Kweku showing up!
Geology - '69